Can Russian software manufacturers take leading positions in the global market?

    The round table under this name was assembled by the Vedomosti newspaper at the Electronic Breakthrough business forum held as part of the Infocom-2007 exhibition in Moscow. Its participants - heads of successful domestic software development companies and mixed solutions based on it - discussed the prospects and needs of the Russian software industry both in the domestic and foreign markets. In general, the discussion boiled down to justifying why the answer to the title question is “Yes.” That the answer is just that, none of the participants expressed doubts.

    Oleg Byakhov, who recently headed the department of the strategy for building the information society of the Ministry of Information and Communications, was now feeling good as a host, and now is engaged in consulting at IBM. He masterfully collected the big picture from the speeches of the speakers and filled in the pauses between them with stories from his experience, including the already canonical parable about how a very famous audit company did not believe in the young Bill Gates, which he later regretted.
    The president of the Russoft association was the first to give information on the current successes and directions of the domestic software development industry.»Valentin Makarov. He said that today Russia has almost moved away from the practice of pure offshore programming and is increasingly supplying R&D services that are at a level higher than simple coding for the finished technical task, which most outsourcing companies in India and China, our most serious competing countries, are engaged in. Despite the fact that in terms of absolute figures in software export volumes, we are unlikely to ever be able to catch up with them (by 2010, Russia: India billions of dollars will be 6:60 here), we are already starting to move away from direct competition with them, climbing to heights still inaccessible to them, taking on more complex and quality-sensitive projects. This is confirmed by IDC researchcommissioned by Russoft in March (this study was mentioned more than once later).

    The schedule of growth of those volumes of software exports, which is very similar to the exhibitor (the Indians have such a schedule, however, looks even more like it), according to Makarov, this is a sure guarantee of success for the domestic manufacturer and at home. “We will not give our market back to anyone!” He finished.

    Interesting fact: among the leading countries in software development, only in Russia does the state in generaldoesn't help your business. The creation of a special structure that will promote our products abroad has already “matured”; this should have been done at least 5 years ago. However, in reality, the government will do this no earlier than 7 years later, when our export of software will already overtake import (think about the significance of this event). We are still embarrassed to talk about any unified state policy in this area, perhaps because of fear of the revival of the good old Gosplan. But the fact that this is the cornerstone for the development of the industry must be understood as soon as possible, says Auriga President Alexei Sukharev.

    The Quorum General Director complained that tax incentives for software manufacturers would be very appropriate, but the existing exemptionslook frivolous. Despite the fact that 70-80% of the budget of such companies is consumed by salaries of highly qualified, and therefore expensive employees, a preferential social tax would have a significant impact on costs. In addition, the trends of the time when foreign companies in our market are allowed more and more and they begin to seriously compete with ours in areas where they used to feel like a stone wall (for example, banking software) should not turn into extremes . Healthy protectionism has never harmed anyone.

    Another problem that can not do without government intervention is the acute shortage of qualified personnel in the teaching staff of technological universities. Almost all of them today produce the same coders, almost not satisfying the need for design engineers, system architects, and, as Spirit Sales Director Vyacheslav Borilin, marketing specialists, already talked about .

    Without the ability to sell a finished, even the most wonderful and perfect product, no business is possible. And if the company whose software works in every iPod and iPhone, and with them millions and millions of other devices from more than 200 manufacturers, speaks about the lack of competent sellers, then the problem is really acute! The picture with marketing costs is also indicative: in the USA, where the culture of mass advertising has been good for 100 years, the cost of it per capita per year is $ 600, while in Russia it is only $ 30. And we still have a long way to go to the US indicators. Entirely, there are no slices anywhere.

    Noting that a sharp leap for Russian manufacturers is possible if the market paradigm changes, the winner is the one who first understands the essence of the changes (no, there is nothing to do with nanotechnology). Vadim Shchepinov, the director general of Red Soft , sees such a shift in the transition to open source software, which removes all problems with intellectual property, which in modern business has become a very formidable weapon that “big” crush “small”. Everyone recognized this idea as very interesting.

    In the final conversation with the audience, it also became clear that Russian-language technology parks are an absurd invention that only complicates their lives for residents because of the intricacies of tax laws that give benefits only to employees employed in the technology park (the meaning of the word “hired” is, of course, not in favor of business).

    Summing up, we can conclude that finally, from wishes to the government in the spirit of “do what you want, just don’t interfere”, big business is no longer slowly moving to the requirements to fulfill its obligations laid down in the very definition of government. And it pleases.

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